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Re: Agenda: February 24, 2014 WAI-PF ARIA Caucus

From: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:55:05 -0500
Message-ID: <530B6B59.1030702@alum.mit.edu>
To: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>, W3C WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
> - Issues 411, 406 Addition of aria-description or aria-help (Hopefully 
> we have had time to mull this over)_
> __- https://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/Group/track/issues/411_ 
> <https://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/Group/track/issues/411>_
> __- https://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/Group/track/issues/406_ 
> <https://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/Group/track/issues/406>

Some semi-systematic thoughts about aria-toolitp.

1. There is a role="tooltip".  Having an additional aria-tooltip 
property is confusing.  The two concepts are related, but one is a role 
that provides contextual help text, and the other is a string of help 
text.  An author is left to wonder which to use and when. I suggest not 
using "aria-tooltip" as the name of the property.

2. aria-tooltip similarly brings to mind a mode of presentation, namely, 
a contextual popup with a tip about the tool it is associated with.  
But, that's not what aria is for since it doesn't describe behaviour or 
presentation.  The originally proposed name, "aria-help", is better, 
however, even then there is a possibility it *might* be confused with a 
mechanism for invoking a help viewer.

3. The proposed spec text suggests that authors SHOULD NOT provide 
aria-tooltip that duplicates the label.  Why isn't that a MUST NOT?
3a.  It is unclear how aria-tooltip integrates with aria-describedby.  
It's not clear how a browser maps an element to the a11y API if it has 
all three of (1) a label, (2) a description, and (3) a tooltip.  For 

<span role="button" aria-label="Back" aria-describedby="desc1" 
aria-tooltip="Go back one page; pull down to show history">
<span id="desc1">Activate to go back one page, or invoke a history 

3b. If the element has an aria-describedby as in the above example, that 
text will be mapped to the description field of the accessible.  Where 
would the tooltip text be mapped to in IA2, ATK, and UIA?  I gather that 
AXAPI will use its AXHelp field.

4.  It's not clear what the intended semantic of aria-tooltip is. Is 
aria-tooltip for a restricted set of roles, say widgets only? Or, can 
any element have an aria-tooltip?  Can a landmark, for example?  If so, 
a more generic name like aria-description or aria-help would be better.  
Or, perhaps aria-hint?

5.  Regarding the use of the html title attribute, Steve Faulkner has a 
blog about it, and some of what's said there is relevant here:

In particular, there is a link from the blog to the html 5.1 spec which 
states, " Relying on the title attribute is *currently discouraged* ...":


'A: After all, it isn't rocket science.'
'K: Right. It's merely computer science.'
              - J. D. Klaun -
Received on Monday, 24 February 2014 15:55:33 UTC

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